"Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today's events." - Albert Einstein
In just one game, the Barons somehow found a way to crush the momentous excitement of a first round playoff berth against the Hamilton Bulldogs. They realized the significance of this game for both their AHL fans, and their NHL counterparts who need some post season happiness. But the frailty of the team wasn't in it's lack of scoring (although there wasn't much), rather in the all important goaltending of one Jeff Deslauriers. Letting in three goals in six first period shots is brutal, and quite frankly, I'm tired of writing that sentence, and hearing myself say it. The great "tease" is that Deslauriers had us all fooled after spewing out three shutouts in four games played to end the season. That suddenly seems like a distant memory.
So the Barons, as a team, approach the matinée game on Saturday with their short term memory in tact. They'll push aside the dominance of three scoring lines for Hamilton. They'll ignore the brutal penalty kill percentages. They'll brush off the Nigel Dawes freight-train of offensive brawn. Instead they'll focus on fixing, then forgetting short comings. Exposing the good, the bad, and the Deslauriers.
The good. I'd be surprised to see the offensive lines change at all. The top two lines, who went scoreless, will find ways to step up. Alexandre Giroux, Colin McDonald, Brad Moran, Teemu Hartikainen, Linus Omark, Mark Arcobello - these six have been scoring all year. They can't help themselves; they were born to put the puck in the net.
The bad. The defensive pairs looked confused all night in game one. At Friday's practice on Copps Coliseum ice, one change was made. Colten Teubert will replace Alex Plante. That has the potential for interesting game-time chatter. Why? A Jeff Petry - Colten Teubert defensive pair sounds dynamic. Probably not going to happen, but it's not far from the realm of possibility More projected pairings below.
The ugly. Short-term memory? Check. Forgetting Deslauriers up/down tendency? Impossible. Martin Gerber has to be the starting goaltender this afternoon. If he's not, I'll be shocked. The damage had already been done by the time he took the reigns in period two of game one, but he made a few nice saves. Thus keeping the Barons from losing 7-2 or even 8-2. Regardless of how bad the defense played in front of him, he's still inept when letting in early goals. This makes me, and apparently the coaching staff, nervous.
2pm MST / 3 CST / 4 EST